Steve Pearce, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
(.400/.464/.920, 7 G, 10-for-25, 4 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 5 K)
After seven seasons in the Pirates organization (including 185 games with the big league club), 29-year-old Steve Pearce is off to a flying start in the Yankees system. Though he had a 26-game on-base streak snapped Tuesday, the veteran slugger bounced back by going 8-for-16 with three homers, three doubles and four RBIs over four games from Wednesday through Saturday. He leads the IL in batting (.361) and doubles (12) while ranking third with a .444 on-base percentage and fourth with 26 runs scored.
Yankees' Steve Pearce hits a three-run homer
Pacific Coast League
Josh Bell, Reno
(.522/.500/.913, 6 G, 12-for-23, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 6 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 CS)
Part of the deal that sent reliever George Sherrill to the Dodgers in 2009, Bell hit just .200 in 79 Major League games with the Orioles before being designated for assignment on April 16. The O's sent him to the Diamondbacks on April 21 and Bell immediately made his presence felt with Arizona's Triple-A club, bashing a pair of homers in his second game with the Aces. This week Bell torched host Memphis for 11 hits and 10 RBIs during Reno's four-game sweep, and the 25-year-old switch-hitter is batting .421 with 29 RBIs in his first 19 Pacific Coast League games.
Aces' Bell hits his second homer of the game
Darin Ruf, Reading
(.455/.538/1.000, 6 G, 10-for-22, 3 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 K)
Ruf has done nothing but rake in his first 35 Double-A games. The 25-year-old first baseman was named the Phillies organization's Player of the Month for April and has been even better in May. He went deep in four consecutive games from Sunday to Thursday this week, driving in 13 runs in the four contests. Ruf leads the Eastern League in batting average (.383) and RBIs (27) while ranking second in slugging (.594) and on-base percentage (.438).
Matt Davidson, Mobile
(.333/.417/.810, 6 G, 7-for-21, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K)
The No. 5 prospect in the Diamondbacks system, Davidson is off to his best start since Arizona took him 35th overall in the 2009 Draft. The 21-year-old third baseman leads the Southern League with eight homers, is second in on-base percentage and fourth in batting. Davidson closed out the week with six hits -- three of them homers -- and seven RBIs over three games as his BayBears opened up a six-game lead over the rest of the league's South Division.
Top prospect: Matt Davidson
Cody Decker, San Antonio
(.368/.435/1.000, 6 G, 7-for-19, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 3 BB, 2 K)
If this name sounds familiar, it's not just because the Missions lead the Minors in Deckers. Cody was last week's Texas League honoree as well, and the 25-year-old UCLA product captured this week's prize by blasting four homers in four games over the weekend as San Antonio swept visiting Midland. Decker has at least one RBI in seven of his last eight contests and is tied with teammate Nathan Freiman for the league lead with 13 longballs. He's all alone at the top with a .724 slugging percentage and trails only NW Arkansas' Wil Myers in OPS.
Missions' Cody Decker goes deep three times
George Springer, Lancaster
(.522/.571/1.261, 7 G, 12-for-23, 1 3B, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 SB, 1 CS)
The 11th overall pick in last June's Draft, Springer had a brief eight-game stint in the New York-Penn League last summer before jumping straight to Class A Advanced this season. MLB.com's No. 80 prospect hasn't disappointed, hitting .313/.362/.571 and erupting for five homers in four games this week, including longballs in four consecutive at-bats in the JetHawks' doubleheader sweep of Lake Elsinore on Friday. Having doubled his season home run total in a matter of hours, Springer is now tied for third in the league, three behind teammate Telvin Nash.
No. 80 prospect: George Springer
Brady Shoemaker, Winston-Salem
(.556/.619/.889, 5 G, 10-for-18, 3 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 1 K)
A career .313 hitter in parts of four Minor League seasons, Shoemaker has been even better this year. The Indiana State product, who turned 25 on Thursday, leads the league in hits, ranks second in runs scored and has reached base in each of his last 20 games. Shoemaker celebrated his birthday by going 3-for-4 with a homer, double and two RBIs in the second game of a doubleheader at Frederick, then closed out the week with a 5-for-5 performance at Lynchburg on Sunday.
Florida State League
Lance Ray, Fort Myers
(.421/.542/.789, 6 G, 8-for-19, 4 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R, 5 BB, 4 K, 1 SB)
After hitting just .192 in April, Ray has at least one hit in nine of his 10 games this month and has scored in six of seven. An eighth-round pick out of the University of Kentucky in 2010, Ray's 16 homers for Beloit were fourth most in the Twins organization last season. The 22-year-old delivered his fourth blast of the year Wednesday, a first-inning grand slam at first-place Dunedin, and added two doubles and a single Thursday to help the Miracle split a four-game set with the Blue Jays.
Kevin Pillar, Lansing
(.536/.552/.786, 6 G, 15-for-28, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 5 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 4 SB)
Pillar contributed four multi-hit games this week, capped by a record-tying 6-for-6, six-RBI performance in the Lugnuts' 16-4 romp over Dayton on Saturday. The last Lansing player to collect six hits in a game was Franklin German on May 25, 1999. Pillar added three hits in Tuesday's game and three more on Friday before Saturday's outburst, which included his first homer of the season. The 22-year-old outfielder's .319 average is second-highest on the Lugnuts squad, which owns the league's best record at 25-11.
South Atlantic League
Angelo Gumbs, Charleston
(.464/.467/.643, 6 G, 13-for-28, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 1 BB, 8 K, 11 SB, 1 CS)
Gumbs struggled in April, batting just .206 with 21 strikeouts in 19 games. May has been a different story for the Yankees No. 17 prospect, who went 13-for-25 during a five-game stretch this week and is batting .362 in 11 games this month. A second-round pick in the 2010 Draft, the 19-year-old second baseman had back-to-back three-hit performances Tuesday and Thursday, then went 4-for-6 with his second homer of the year and three RBIs at West Virginia on Saturday. He also stole 11 bases and was caught just once over the last seven days, and he's now second in the SAL -- one behind Delino DeShields Jr. -- with 19 steals. With Gumbs hitting his stride, the first-place RiverDogs may be even more formidable than your correspondent predicted.
Top prospect: Angelo Gumbs